Friday, June 28, 2013

A Farm Kind of Day.....

Thursdays seem to be my official "farm day." Our squash is now coming on daily and I'm so pleased with such an abundance that we can share with the elderly couple next door.  You should see his eyes light up when I bring him such goodies!

With the economy so crummy, especially for the elderly, wouldn't it be wonderful if we all adopted a neighbor in need and shared.

I know what you think these little black doo-dads are in the girly girls' coop, but you're wrong!  I already cleaned those out!  These happen to be blackberries and the girls adore 'em!

Thursday afternoons find Rick and me heading downtown to our local farmers market.  If you could see this picturesque little main street of Tehachapi (Tuh-ha-cha-pee) it would take you back in time. 

This is Railroad Park along the main street and yes the train comes through right next to it about every 15 minutes. 

Not only is there great tri-tip bar-b-que-ing away, but tons of craft vendors and of course farmers from all over.  It's the huge heirloom tomatoes that I come for and they are worth the drive into town .

I thought about getting a booth, but wool socks don't seem to sell well in summer time and I figured that I could save money by staying home and tending to our garden.  That in turn, will actually save me money.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our "Tabletop Knitting Caddy".....

When you can't sleep at night because crazy ideas are swimming around in your head, it's best to go with them and see what develops.

My best knitting is done late at night when everyone's been tucked into bed.  I usually have a hot or cold drink on the end table next to me with a coaster underneath it.  Then everything that I need for that particular project is scattered all over the table, too.  It's a mess and then I find myself knocking things off onto the floor.............

So, somewhere this little idea for a tabletop knitting caddy was formed.  It holds a 9 x 12" piece of ceramic tile that can be bought at any home improvement store.  This tile not only holds the caddy in place from the weight, but it also serves as a coaster to keep the table top finish from getting wet.

A small pocket was placed on top to hold double pointed needles (or whatever) and then a larger pocket drapes down the side.  It works great by allowing the piece to drape across the front of the end table and then all your supplies are in easy reach.

Will anyone be interested in such a product?  I haven't a clue and only time will tell.  Tomorrow I'll get back to the drawing board and see what improvements I can make.  Cross your fingers and toes for us!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cleaning Doris.....

Once 200 - 300 socks have been cranked out, it's time for Doris to have a thorough cleaning.

Between the old machine oil and fuzz from all the yarn, it's pretty messy.

We always take note of the order in which each part comes off, because you have to put everything back in its right place.  I usually align one part wrong and end up having to start over.

My husband uses a small toothbrush to clean out all the gunk.  What a guy to do this for me!

Even the ends of each needle need to be cleaned up.

And once Doris sparkles and is put back together, she begins to crank smoothly again and I swear that I can hear her whistling a happy tune!

Whew!  Glad it's over and now I can look forward to cranking out several more hundred socks.

Our shipment of Regia should be arriving sometime this week and I promise to post lots of pictures.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Gopher in the Garden; A Mouse in the House..

Does it get any better than that?  It's war!  The gopher has eaten 3 of my pumpkin plants with sights on the rest.  At this rate, there will be no Halloween.

I've uncovered his hole and keep flooding it hoping to cause him great indigestion!  Maybe I should stick some Tums down it, too!

The pumpkins are just coming on the vines now, so we have to do everything we can to protect them.

I'm sure the corn will be next!  As for the mouse..........well, I think it's a mouse.  Last night around midnight I hear a sound coming from the kitchen, so I tiptoe in...........I hear this really loud scratching coming from within our center island, but under the drawers.  I did what any good wife would do.....I woke up my husband and made him check it out!

Of course, the scratching stopped and we pulled open the drawer and saw nothing.  This morning I went to Home Depot and bought just about every kind of trap they had on their shelf.  It's war! 

But, with a day like this and a view like this, who can complain, right?

In knitting dear friend Kathleen let me borrow a skein of Regia to see how Doris would react to it.  She loved it and cranked away whistling her usual happy tune.  So with that, we just opened up our new account with the Regia folks and should have it here next week to start selling in our Etsy store and to start full sock production for fall and winter. 

Eleven bags full will be arriving via UPS and I can't wait!  Bo will be thrilled to be able to chase his big brown truck down our dirt road along our fence line.  It's a huge game between him and our UPS man.  Bo chases him, then barks loudly as the box is lifted over the gate into my arms and then eagerly anticipates the cookie that is then offered as a bribe.  Of course, each time I remind the driver that he will never win Bo over, but he continues in his endeavor.  I just smile, thank him profusely for the box of yarn, he gets in his truck and Bo chases him the rest of the way to the end of the property.

A normal day on our mountain!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Gift Ideas......

For once I'm getting an early start with Christmas gifts.  Since I seem to be having so much fun making these small tote bags, I thought that it would be fun to place more gifts inside.  I'm thinking some homemade soap, hand knitted spa cloths and a pair of hand cranked socks. Who wouldn't enjoy receiving that!

This little bag with the ladybugs all over it will be put away in my "Christmas closet" and filled later on.

This "project bag" is about to go into my Etsy shop.  Kitties are always a hit, right?

Since I have so many sock projects going on all the time, I better plan on making myself a bag, too!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Our Newest Pattern......

The charts came through just fine the second time around and our new pattern, "Mrs. Crumpet's Flock" is now listed in our Etsy and Ravelry shops.  You can take a peek by clicking on these two sites at the right.

This is our newest pattern in our "Crumpet and Tea" collection and is a child's pullover written for sizes 4 (6, 8) with finished chest measurements of 25 (27, 29) inches. 
To me, working Intarsia patterns is like doing jigsaw puzzles - totally addicting! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sheer Cuteness.............

The sweater is done and little Carter loved modeling it for me.  And he was thrilled when I told him that he could keep it!

This morning I finished typing up the pattern, but encountered problems when trying to add the charts.  I did the front and back charts on my Mac with Adobe Illustrator and then saved them in my little GB thingy.  Then I took that to my PC and placed them into the clipboard.  It was when I went from the clipboard to the Word program that the charts became difficult to read.  And yet, I did the very exact thing with the sleeve charts with no problem.

I've spent hours doing everything that I could think of to remedy the problem - but no luck.  So, now I'm totally re-doing both charts which will take me a few days.  Once that's done, we'll get this pattern in our Etsy and Ravelry shops.  Patience and fortitude!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Lots of Watering & Temps on the Rise......

There hasn't been a lot of time for knitting with the garden in full swing now.  This weekend our temps will be in the 90's which is pretty hot for Tehachapi. 

Each morning I've been deep watering the pumpkin and squash patch and it's now thriving.

The corn is over a foot high and I've started another corn patch in another section on the property.  The girls absolutely love corn on the cob, so two good size sections will be necessary to keep them happy.

With it being so hot now, it is snake season and I don't go outside at all without my old boots on.  They're starting to crack and show the many hours that they've been worn, but they're comfy and I'll wear them to the end!

We had a mole in our garden so I placed this planter on top of where he kept coming in at.  I guess it discouraged him because he hasn't been back.  But, the small lizards that are everywhere have claimed it as their own habitat.  And that suits me just fine because they share it with a few small frogs and I figure they're all keeping the tiny insects down in the garden.

I just finished watering about 1/4 of the property and decided to give the pump a rest (and me, too) so I'll just sit myself right down and knit a few rounds on the neck ribbing of the upcoming sweater.

I still have 3 sections to water in a bit that we call, "The Forest," "The Park," and "The Orchard."  I found that by giving these sections names, it's much easier for Rick to grasp where to water when he helps out.  Today he's in Bakersfield, so I'm on my own!

Hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Another Project Bag....

Knitting may be my first love, but sewing is sure holding my attention these days - "Project Bags" to be exact.  I just think that these small totes are so perfect for holding knitting and crocheting projects.

I find myself constantly on the "hunt" for fun and whimsical cotton prints.

This one really caught my attention with all the darling kitty cats on it that is combined with a sewing theme.  Cute, cute, cute!

In knitting news:  I'm half way done with the sweater front and then will work the neck ribbing.  I'm watching my youngest grandson next week, so I hope to use him as a model for the photo that I'll use with the pattern.  I just hope that Carter is a size 6!

He was here a week ago so I was showing him the two sleeves and the sweater back.  I told him that I would begin the front next.  And do you know what he asked me?

"Are you still building it?"

 Isn't that so amazing how a child's mind works when it comes to the construction of a sweater?  And actually he's right on because a sweater is constructed piece by piece.  Lots of math calculations, layout, etc, etc.  

Next week is my goal to have the pattern listed in our Etsy and Ravelry stores.